By Bruce Pascoe
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In his fourth novel Earth award-winning Aboriginal author Bruce Pascoe, establishes himself at the peak of contemporary Australian literature. Earth is a daring and thought-provoking work; a novel of voices from the past and the present. The setting is the Victorian countryside, west of Melbourne during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A time of great upheaval for the Aboriginal people of this area. The story unfolds through the lively dialogue of its protagonists, some worldly others more ethereal. It is a story of love, denial, hypocrisy, greed, murder. There is also humour and warmth in the narrative, counterbalancing the sense of anger and sadness at the injustice, duplicity, mendacity and callous brutality being meted out to the Aboriginal people of the region in the name of Christianity, civilisation and progress. Ultimately there is hope amidst the despair, and old values richly reassert themselves against overwhelming odds.